India's Bharti Airtel Buys Loop Mobile
Published on: 18th Feb 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
India's Bharti Airtel has confirmed that it is buying Mumbai based Loop Mobile. Although the price was not stated it is understood to be in the region of around Rs 700 crore (USD113 million).
Under the agreement, Loop Mobile's 3 million subscribers in Mumbai will join Airtel's over 4 million subscribers in the same region.
The merged network will be the largest by customer base in the region.
The proposed transaction will bring together Loop Mobile's 2G/EDGE enabled network supported by 2,500 plus cell sites, and Airtel's 2G and 3G network supported by over 4000 cell sites across Mumbai.
The merged company will also have around 220 retail stores in the area.
The payment by Bharti Airtel does not include the estimated Rs 400 crore of debt held by Loop Mobile, so that will be paid off, leaving the former owners, IP Khaitan and family with a net of Rs 300 crore.
Loop Mobile needed to find a buyer as its licenses are due to expire later this year, and it did not participate in the latest spectrum auction. Faced with closure and the loss of all its customers, a sale was inevitable.